Thanks to digital printing, it has become possible to realize marketing and promotional activities with target-group-centric designs on flexible packaging in short runs and on short notice. This adds appeal to packaging and generates greater advertising impact.
All major retailers are struggling with continuously growing product variety, a problem compounded by many generic-brand items. Growing diversity reduces the demand volume for certain products or increases their inventory levels. For packaging manufacturers like Wipf AG, the consequences are easy to identify: To accommodate variety, large runs are being superseded by a large number of short runs that need to be produced on very tight schedules. Speed to market is a key criterion for the life cycle of a product and crucial for its marketing success. Market launches are almost always preceded by market tests with different packaging designs to determine how they measure up to consumer preferences.
Since more and more products exhibit shorter life cycles, the fast market launch criterion is difficult to fulfil in most cases. Additionally, customers prefer just-in-time deliveries. This calls for short-term printing in short runs. The new HP Indigo 20000 digital press can consecutively produce a multitude of small jobs. The entire workflow is digital and print jobs can be managed individually. Switching from one job to the next is also possible without having to stop the digital press. Orders for proofs or one-off printing tests can be seamlessly queued into a running production stream. The press makeready waste is minimized and the output corresponds exactly to the quantity specified by the customer. This has a beneficial impact and offers new options in order, printing, time, and cost management.
Personalized packaging is a must
Digital presses make it possible to print different versions of a packaging system in a single production run at the specified deadline and in the required quantity (on-demand). The printing data can easily be archived and retrieved whenever needed with pushbutton convenience to produce follow-up runs. Since all press settings (such as colour profiles) are stored, setting up a job involves little effort. Digital presses require no plates, which eliminates platemaking time and costs. Because of its personalization flexibility, digital printing technology offers a host of interesting possibilities. Thanks to a contiguous digital workflow, the specific data of every single packing unit can be transmitted to the press. This guarantees promising marketing approaches. With its personalized marketing campaign, the Coca-Cola Company showed how it works. All it takes is a good idea. Protect the product, reflect its value, or – ideally – enhance it: packaging has many different functions and their number is growing. More and more marketing professionals are aware of the communication potential and are developing personalized packaging produced with digital presses.